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TeeEye7
11-03-2008, 01:36 PM
I'm posting this at the behest of Mr.JabbaJohnL.

Some may remember my post in the "Random Video of the Day" thread (post #374) regarding the revelation to my brothers and me that a book was being written about my uncle, William E. Cramsie, who was an A-20 Havoc pilot (light bomber) in the 671st Squadron of the 416th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force. He was killed on a mission trying to take out a "buzz bomb" site in France.

http://wgs.cc/FirstToFall/

My brothers and I literally found out about the book a mere two weeks before it was to go to press. Wayne G. Sayles, the author, had been working with my cousins for about three years gleaning information regarding Uncle Bill's family history while also researching his West Point career and time with the Army Air Corps. Sayles wanted to contact my brothers and me for information regarding our mother (Uncle Bill's sister) but was unsuccessful until just a few weeks ago (the end of September). Through the years, our little family has moved all over the country, and after the deaths of our parents (my mom and her brother Robert), we cousins have pretty much lost contact with each other. I contacted Sayles and he provided my brothers and me a copy of the manuscript as it was going to the printer. The whole reason for Sayles' work is contained within the book and I'll not reveal any spoilers here. (However, it was a HUGE shock to my brothers and me!).

Sayles work takes a lot of literary license and is speculative with regards to my uncle's West Point career and specific actions in the 416th Bomb Group. However, the work is based on documented facts. Sayles' biography is a noble attempt to "connect the dots". From a family perspective, there is nothing offensive within the work. In fact, the book brings about a certain amount of closure to my brothers and me regarding our uncle. That's because it was very difficult for my mother to talk about her brother without breaking down. She absolutely adored her brother. We grew up with a lot of incomplete and erroneous information about our uncle as a result. Example: we were told Uncle Bill was a B-24 Liberator pilot when we were kids. Knowing he piloted the hot rod A-20 puts a whole other spin on his possible character for me.

The work is not only a biography of my uncle, but also a history of the 416th Bomb Group. For all the SSG WWII history buffs here, they might find that aspect of the book interesting. I've been on a mission myself to find out more about the 416th. I've purchased Attack Bombers We Need You! by Ralph Conte, who was a bombadier/navigator with the 416th. I found that to be a very interesting read. (Conte gives my uncle two sentences in his book---another revelation!). In my research I've come across video of the 416th from the following website:

http://www.zenosflightshop.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=A2026DVD

Again, some of our SSG WWII fans might find this site interesting. I purchased the DVD on the A-20/A-26s and, again, was greeted with an eerie revelation. In the DVD, there is an aerial photo taken of the target during the mission my uncle was killed on April 10, 1944!

The reason for this post is not to drum up business for Sayles, Conte, or Zeno's (rest assured, there's nothing in it for me except the priceless information regarding my uncle after all of these years!). It's only to bring to light a very weird event to befall my family and to generate a thread in the "Books" section regarding the obvious interest SSGers have regarding WWII. With regards to Sayles' and Conte's books, they are both easy reads and I found very enlightening regarding the little-known 9th Air Force and all the "down and dirty" work they endured while the 8th Air Force (the B-17s and B-24s) captured all of the glory and press. Very interesting stuff!

I hope to see more postings here regarding members' interest in WWII! Keep those resources coming!

A big thanks to JJL for his interest in my family's "out of the blue" event and prodding me to post! :thumbsup:

Mr. JabbaJohnL
11-03-2008, 11:58 PM
Hey, and thanks to you for more information! I'm interested in WWII and American history but I'm not necessarily a "buff" like some people here. In this case, I find the behind-the-scenes stuff here to be just as interesting! I think I've said it before, but this all seems pretty wild. :D I would definitely like to check out the book . . . I don't know when, though.

JetsAndHeels
11-04-2008, 09:41 AM
Thanks for the great information here TeeEye7.

I teach US History, I love it, I read it, I research it, I go see the sites...yet I am not sure I am a "buff". I hope to reach that status though. :)

Bel-Cam Jos
11-04-2008, 07:25 PM
And I thought this thread was about racy pin-ups from the '40s... :( :lipsrsealed:

I love biogs, especially if someone I know knows them.

TeeEye7
11-04-2008, 07:36 PM
And I thought this thread was about racy pin-ups from the '40s... :( :lipsrsealed:

I'd hate to disappoint.....;)

JetsAndHeels
11-04-2008, 07:51 PM
Love the classic pin-ups....but I am more of a flapper guy myself.

TeeEye7
11-04-2008, 08:58 PM
Love the classic pin-ups....but I am more of a flapper guy myself.

The pin-ups are cool.
I'm trying to find a coffee table type book on WWII aircraft nose art which was the destination for a lot of pin up art. I've found some interesting web sites regarding this subject (even art provided from the Walt Disney studios: the 416th Bomb Groups' four squadrons' artwork were provided by Disney), however, I've yet to encounter one.

sith_killer_99
11-04-2008, 11:24 PM
My Grandfather served in the Navy during WWII, he was stationed on Johnston Island.

Fifty plus years later I made three trips there in an official capacity for the Army.

Very few people have ever had the opportunity to set foot on the island. It's really cool to have a connection like that with my Grandfather.:thumbsup:

Exhaust Port
11-08-2008, 04:10 PM
That's an awesome reference to have about your grandfather. WW2 was such a huge event in numbers and scale so it can be tough for one to find information regarding the experiences of a specific soldier. In addition to that I found that a good number of those involved just didn't talk about it. Great stuff.

I'm not sure if I achieve "buff" ranking but I do really enjoy a lot of aspects of WW2. I'm a big airplane person so I've been to a lot of museums and airshows as well as read books about the airplanes and pilots. Oh, and I also have a number of WW2 aviation prints hanging around signed by some famous pilots.

I also enjoy movies quite a bit. The early movies are interesting because they had access to actual equipment and locations that hadn't been changed with time yet. The whole period is filled with so many personal, national, technology, etc. achievements it's a endless supply of interesting stories. For that reason I find it insulting that movies like Pearl Harbor changed the facts. It's not like the original events weren't as full of heroic actions or spectacular moments as the final screen play.

I'm also interested in how the events of those years are still a part of our lives now. There are so many buildings and structures that are left over from that time still in use in some cases. We have a huge arsenal down the street that built munitions during the war as well as an ex-fighter factory and airship hangar/factory. It's amazing stuff and very interesting to learn about how all these things morphed our local landscape.

OC47150
11-10-2008, 08:14 PM
In my former life, I was a newspaper reporter for a small local newspaper and had the chance to interview several WWII veterans who had interesting stories.

One person I had the chance to interview was a survivor from the USS Indianapolis. He was a Marine assigned to the ship and was on the fateful voyage that delivered the atomic bomb to Titian. He survived the initial sinking by sleeping on deck because it was too hot below. It was very difficult for him to talk about the experience.

I also interviewed a gentleman who served with one of the fighter groups stationed in North Africa.

TeeEye7
11-10-2008, 09:55 PM
One person I had the chance to interview was a survivor from the USS Indianapolis. He was a Marine assigned to the ship and was on the fateful voyage that delivered the atomic bomb to Titian. He survived the initial sinking by sleeping on deck because it was too hot below. It was very difficult for him to talk about the experience.

I can only imagine how hard it is to re-hash his experience. This is a story that really makes me squirm! What a horrible ordeal! It's bad enough being torpedoed, but then, your own people don't bother looking for you for days on end when you expect rescue. And then there's the sharks........

What a truly horrific chapter of WWII.

Blue2th
11-11-2008, 09:19 AM
I was reading up on the 671st of the 416th. Their missions were sometimes more harrowing than the high flying 8th Airforce in the B-17's and B-24's.

Most times they were flying a lot lower, were easier to pick off by flak, and had to fly more than twice the 25 missions the guys in the 8th had to before they got to go home.
Not trying to take away from the high altitude 4 engine bomber crews, but the exploits of these other guys are less known.

So apparently your Uncle went down before D-Day trying to soften up the Germans in France before the great invasion.

They had a heck of a time with those Buzz-bombs, and very few planes that could catch them once they were in the air. So the importance of taking them out was paramount.
The British Hawker Typhoon (though it was slower) and Tempest were used the most. If they couldn't shoot it down they would pull up along side it and use their wings to flip them over. Interesting stuff.

Forget about the V2, that was a rocket.

TeeEye7
11-11-2008, 10:32 AM
Ralph Conte's book, Attack Bombers We Need You! is a great resource for the 416th, as he was a bombadier/navagator with the group. And at the risk of sounding arrogant, Wayne Sayles' book is also a good source on the history of the 416th.

The A20 Havocs and the A26 Invaders flown by the 416th, indeed, flew lower-level missions. According to Conte's book, which chronicled almost every mission, the planes normally flew between 11,500 and 12,000 feet and often lower in order to see the targets below the cloud cover. The flights were subject not only to flak, but small arms ground fire. I agree about your statement about the 9th Air Force being less known. The boys in the 8th have, indeed, been the glamor boys. The A20s and A26s were also used in a ground attack mode occasionally, further exposing themselves to danger.

What surprised me in Conte's book was that the bomber formations enjoyed fighter escort and were rarely affected by enemy aircraft. I was surprised how often he would cite that the accompanying P-47s or P-38s (the P-51s came later) would successfully chase off the German's efforts to harass the flights. Far and away, anti-aircraft fire was far more effective.

My uncle was killed on April 10, 1944, less than two months before D-Day. In Sayles' book, he editorialized about the buzz-bomb targets. It seems the Americans preferred to go after rail yards, marshaling yards, bridges, etc. pre-D-Day to benefit the impending invasion of Europe, but the British insisted that the buzz bombs raining down on London be the priority. After a protracted p!ssing match, the Americans deferred to the Brits.

Ah, war and politics!

Blue2th
11-11-2008, 11:41 AM
Indeed. The Americans had to defer many times to the Brits, after all we were on their island, the only place in Europe that the Germans hadn't taken over (thank God for the Spitfire)

We all know what happened in Montgomery's ill fated Operation Market Garden after D-Day.

It's interesting to find out how these generals managed to get things done dispite their huge egos. Eisenhower had his hands full.

Exhaust Port
11-13-2008, 01:31 AM
(thank God for the Spitfire)

and more so the Hawker Hurricane.

The Spitfire gets the credit usually but the Hurricane was more numerous and accounted for more German loses in the Battle of Britain than the Spitfire. Not the prettiest of beasts but it got the job done.

Slicker
11-13-2008, 09:53 AM
and more so the Hawker Hurricane.

The Spitfire gets the credit usually but the Hurricane was more numerous and accounted for more German loses in the Battle of Britain than the Spitfire. Not the prettiest of beasts but it got the job done.Much like the B-17 gets all of the glory when the B-24 was more numerous and performed in more theaters.

Rocketboy
11-13-2008, 01:25 PM
Much like the B-17 gets all of the glory when the B-24 was more numerous and performed in more theaters.But the B-52s have sold more records that both.

Blue2th
11-13-2008, 03:10 PM
Doh! Spitfires, gettin' all the credit. I watched too much of "The Battle of Britain." :cross-eye

Much like the F4F Wildcat, and the F6F Hellcat gettin' all the credit.
Which it did shoot down more enemy aircraft than any other fighter in WWII, but if we didn't have the Wildcat, we could have lost to the Japanese, and there wouldn't even be a Hellcat.

Exhaust Port
11-13-2008, 03:56 PM
The F4F suffered pretty heavily in Coral Sea and Midway which were more of a naval battle than aerial battle like the Battle of Britain. The Wildcat had a positive kill ratio against Japanese aircraft but it was probably more of a stop-gap until better aircraft were introduced (F6F and F4U). More aces were formed with later aircraft than with the Wildcat too.

I've wondered what created the popularity of the B-17 in the decades to follow the war. Was it due to the PR campaign with the Memphis Belle crew that launched the B-17 into popular culture? There definately is a lack of love for the B-24.

Blue2th
11-13-2008, 07:09 PM
In the hands of the Marines they could be formidable, but as you say stop gap. That's the best they had, which dispite the odds prevailed till they could get something better. http://www.historynet.com/world-war-ii-the-cactus-air-force-fought-at-guadalcanal.htm

I love those harrowing stories of obsolete US aircraft in the beginning two years of the war. Where it was more dependent on tactics rather than air superiority till our technology caught up.

After that it was a turkey shoot.

TeeEye7
11-13-2008, 08:39 PM
I've wondered what created the popularity of the B-17 in the decades to follow the war. Was it due to the PR campaign with the Memphis Belle crew that launched the B-17 into popular culture? There definately is a lack of love for the B-24.

I've heard interviews with WWII pilots on the likes of Discovery and Military channels who claim that the B-17 was easier to fly than the Liberator. That may account for some of its popularity. Also, the B-24 ended up with the nickname the "flying boxcar". How can that name compete with a cool name like "flying fortress"?

The B-24 was much more versatile in its various roles, too. You'd think that would count for something.

Exhaust Port
11-14-2008, 08:34 PM
After that it was a turkey shoot.

Ha! :) The "The Marianas Turkey Shoot" or Battle of the Philippine Sea thanks to the F6F. ;)


I've heard interviews with WWII pilots on the likes of Discovery and Military channels who claim that the B-17 was easier to fly than the Liberator. That may account for some of its popularity. Also, the B-24 ended up with the nickname the "flying boxcar". How can that name compete with a cool name like "flying fortress"?

The B-24 was much more versatile in its various roles, too. You'd think that would count for something.

The senior instructor at my flight school flew The Hump in WW2 as well as being an instructor pilot for the USAAF. His personal point of pride was having flown nearly all the major aircraft of the USA at one point in the US inventory. He always said he had the engines started on a P-38 but had the flight canceled so he never actually flew it.

Anyway, he echoed what you said about the B-24. It was a tough aircraft to maneuver but it was a solid aircraft. It never achieved any historically negative attributes like the B-26 which wouldn't have hurt it's popularity. It also flew in more theaters in more roles as you mentioned too. I guess the glamour of the aircraft must be the main reason. There are just some airplanes that will always be popular because of their "sexiness" despite others being better, faster, more produced, etc. The P-51 will always be the primier US fighter. Personally I like my fighters a bit thicker and meaner but that's just me.

TeeEye7
11-14-2008, 11:18 PM
Personally I like my fighters a bit thicker and meaner but that's just me.

Are we talking P-47, perhaps? They may not look like much, but they've got it where it counts (where have I heard that before?). It's always been high on my list of favorite fighters. Reasonably good escort, tremendous in its ground attack role. All-time favorite fighter is the P-38, though. Too bad your instructor didn't get a chance to fly it. I saw "White Lightning" at a local air show once. Impressive. Most impressive.

Blue2th
11-15-2008, 12:35 AM
Are you talkin' about "Flying Jugs?" they definitely got the girth. :lipsrsealed:

Bel-Cam Jos
11-15-2008, 09:40 AM
Are you talkin' about "Flying Jugs?" they definitely got the girth. :lipsrsealed:Is this thread back to being about '40s pin-ups again? :pleased:

I wonder if some of the SW ship number designations came from ones like those you've mentioned: T-16 Skyhopper, YT-1300 Freighter, T-47 Snowspeeder, XP-38 Landspeeder, BT-16 Top Gasser :p .

TeeEye7
11-15-2008, 12:46 PM
Are you talkin' about "Flying Jugs?" they definitely got the girth. :lipsrsealed:

Obviously, not a Thunderbolt, but the jugs are flying, anyway! ;)

Exhaust Port
11-15-2008, 02:14 PM
Are we talking P-47, perhaps?

I like the look of attack aircraft vs. fighters. The P-47 is one of those but my favorite is in the picture.

The P-38 is a great looking aircraft as well. Something about those twin booms is imposing. It looks great with that nose full of guns as well. The only P-38 I've seen fly is Glacier Girl when it was at the Dayton Airshow back in 2003 during the big Centennial event. The recovery/restoration team was there with a ton of pictures and to talk to fans about their efforts. Amazing work they did.

Ever since I built my first plastic airplane model by myself I've had an interest in the B-25 as well. For a few years we had the B-25J Barbie III come to our local fly-in which is impressive with it's nose full of guns and its 75mm anti-ship cannon in the nose. Wow. That's a lot of firepower. The B-25H is just as impressive looking too.

TeeEye7
11-15-2008, 03:15 PM
Glacier Girl! WOW, EP!
I used to subscribe to Smithsonian Air & Space magazine and I've maintained the copy featuring the restoration on her. I've also seen the documentary on Discovery Channel (or whatever channel) on the unbelievable efforts to remove it from the glacier. Very, very cool because they restored it back to its military configuration unlike White Lightning.

It's funny about the model making: I had a B-25 as well as a Hurricane. With the Hurricane, the kit gave various options and I went with the twin 20mm canon pods under each wing in the tank-buster mode. Mean looking machine!

Man! I'm still jealous over you seeing Glacier Girl! :cool:

Blue2th
11-15-2008, 03:48 PM
Obviously, not a Thunderbolt, but the jugs are flying, anyway! ;)

That's what the pilots who flew the P-47 Thunderbolt affectionately called her, because of the shape looked like a giant milk jug.
http://books.google.com/books?id=P0KiPMJuXkUC&pg=PA147&lpg=PA147&dq=flying+jug+p-47&source=bl&ots=bPZSYrWaUu&sig=izsyChUE7t-63EKHqyiXN8Vcbc4&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result

Exhaust Port
11-15-2008, 03:53 PM
I wish I had digital pictures to share but that was long enough ago that I was still analog. :)

For me model building as a kid cemented my interest in what airplanes I liked. No pun intended. Another popular prop fighter I liked was the A-1 Skyraider. That model let you put a ton of bombs on it which is always popular for a young kid.

Blue2th
11-15-2008, 04:46 PM
I love the Typhoon (your pic)
I used to build quite a few models when I was a kid. Mostly 1/72.

If I had to do it all over again I want to do 1/32. It seems about the biggest you can get in model form and I already have many of the 21st Century Toys 1/32's you can buy at Walmart for $15. Walmart has an Eagle Squadron Spitfire that's currently hitting everywhere. Pretty nice for 15 bucks. I took mine out and hung it up. Need to put up a German plane for it to chase.

Some planes you just can't get pre made in 1/32 like the Typhoon, but can get in a model kit. Also planes like the Nakajima Oscar, Mig 3, and ME-110 are available. They're big but small enough to hang all around my room.

The airplane hobby can get quite obsessive like Star Wars though.

Exhaust Port
11-15-2008, 06:12 PM
I agree this is a great time to be interested in WW2 toys. The airplanes and tanks that 21st makes are awesome but I've kept myself from buying even one with the fear that I won't want to stop. I have suggested to the wife that I should buy them for our future children. :) She isn't quite sold on that idea.

TeeEye7
11-15-2008, 07:36 PM
I agree this is a great time to be interested in WW2 toys. The airplanes and tanks that 21st makes are awesome but I've kept myself from buying even one with the fear that I won't want to stop. I have suggested to the wife that I should buy them for our future children. :) She isn't quite sold on that idea.

EP: Look at all those historical manipulatives, dear! Just think how our kids would benefit educationally!

Mrs. EP: What a great idea! I think you should invest in their future, don't you?

(*....and then EP woke up......*)

It didn't work for me, either....

Slicker
11-16-2008, 08:16 AM
I love the 21st Century Toys product. I used to buy all of it back in the day. I've got most of the small ones and all of the large ones up until a certain point. I was more a fan of the tanks personally though.

Blue2th
11-16-2008, 10:46 AM
Yeah, got lots of the armor too. Recently found an German Opel Halftrack in grey. I think it's my favorite so far. 15 bucks and super-detailed with the cab in diecast metal.

I put my Konami "Sulaco" (Aliens) in the back, it looks like some kind of German super-weapon, cause it's shaped like a gun.

TeeEye7
11-16-2008, 10:58 AM
I thought some of you might be interested in this.

I've been in weekly contact with Wayne Sayles, my uncle's biographer, pretty much ever since the revelation of his book. Unbelievably, he was able to include some material about my mom (family photos, etc.) I sent in spite of the deadline prior to going to press. He sent me the attached photos a couple of days ago. I have these in video form from a DVD I purchased from Zenos' Flight Shop. The first is of the cloud-covered buzz bomb target site of Bois des Huit Rues on April 10,1944 (see notation at top of photo). This is an actual mission photo during which my uncle was killed. Because of the clouds, three passes over the target were necessary to complete the mission. My uncle was hit on two of the three passes. Not much to see, but tremendously important photo to my family, obviously. The other photo (undated, but pre- D-Day because of the lack of invasion stripes on the wings) shows a couple of A-20s hit by the flak they're going through. I'm glad to have these in still form.

TeeEye7
11-17-2008, 06:23 PM
Pardon the double post.

Here's a website with more information than you probably care to know about the buzz bomb site Bois de Huit Rues the 416th was trying to take out when my uncle was shot down. Despite several missions, it was never taken out and now serves as an historic site.

http://www.coalhousefort-gallery.com/V1-flying-bomb-Vengance-weapon-site-Hazebrouck

Also, I came across another photo of a later mission (April 19) attempting to level the site. I'd like to return to Europe one of these days to see the site.

Exhaust Port
11-20-2008, 09:08 AM
Wow, those are awesome pictures. My grandfather has some pictures from his two tours (one in Iceland and the other in Europe) as a radio operator (I don't know his official title). Interesting stuff but not as dramatic as yours for sure. During his European tour he was assigned to Eisenhower's unit (SHAEF) which gave him an armband to show he was in the outfit. He used the armband to convince some guards that he had some official business to get access to Hitler's personal train car after the Allies captured it. He walked away with some china and salt and pepper shakers off the train car. We still have the china but have lost the salt and pepper shakers over the years. We also have a Nazi staff car flag that he found in the firebox of a stove as a Frenchman tried to burn it to hide his support of the Germans during their occupation. It's singed very lightly in one corner but it's in good condition.

TeeEye7 have you been to Europe to see this buzzbomb site? We stopped in Paris at the site of the building where my grandfather stayed during his time in the city which was neat. That buzzbomb site would be awesome to see in person given your personal connection to it.

Blue2th
11-20-2008, 10:35 AM
Wow, interesting stuff guys.
Never been to Europe. Been to lots of places in the Pacific though.
One of these days.

A friend of mine who's dad was stationed in Germany said when he was playing out in the countryside he was always discovering bunkers.
It would be great to be some sort of WWII archaeologist.

My dad was stationed in Greenland during the war. He had joined the Army Air Corps, and was assigned to be a gunner on a bomber because he was such a crack shot, and even had the medals to prove it, but they found out he was colored blind so he ended up in Greenland as a teletypist. I probably wouldn't be here if he had been a gunner.
My brother has pics of him on the ice-packs with a husky.

After the war he was sent to the Pacific. Was at Wake island for a spell, and found a postcard from a Japanese soldier. I don't know who has that now, but I've seen it.

Anyways he ended up being stationed on British owned Canton Island (near Truk) married an Australian girl (my mom) who worked for Quantas Airlines, they settled there and had us kids. I was born in a quanset hut.
I remember seeing an old rusted out beached ship, and an area of the island we weren't supposed to go to that had a lot of rusted out war junk. Probably full of unspent munitions I suspect.

TeeEye7
11-20-2008, 11:25 AM
TeeEye7 have you been to Europe to see this buzzbomb site? We stopped in Paris at the site of the building where my grandfather stayed during his time in the city which was neat. That buzzbomb site would be awesome to see in person given your personal connection to it.

No, I haven't seen the site in person. I've only just learned of the book written about my uncle last month and all its information contained within. All of this has been a whirlwind if not downright surreal! I've been to Europe twice, and had I known of this information, I would have certainly made the trip to tour the site. My uncle and his flight crew have their names on a memorial near Cambridge, England, as well. That's another thing on the list to check out when/if I get the chance to return to Europe.

It's cool to hear about the "souvenirs" picked up by your family members, EP anad Blue2th. I'm always fascinated to hear the stories around them. We have a Japanese bayonet floating around my little family group. As the story goes, it was acquired from a Filipino gentleman by trading two packs of cigarettes for it. No desperate hand-to-hand combat story here!

Bel-Cam Jos
11-20-2008, 07:16 PM
It's cool to hear about the "souvenirs" picked up by your family members, EP anad Blue2th. I'm always fascinated to hear the stories around them. We have a Japanese bayonet floating around my little family group. As the story goes, it was acquired from a Filipino gentleman by trading two packs of cigarettes for it. No desperate hand-to-hand combat story here!I can look to my right [looks right] on the shelf, and see some "bunker art" (I think that's the general term for it) of a large shell case (about 1-1 1/2" high, but don't know how many mm it is wide :metricsystemdropout: :rolleyes: ... but a cheat by looking on the bottom reveals it as a 105mm shell case), with some style rifle shell in the middle, and various coins smashed onto the shell case. It's an ashtray, but in my house has never been used as such, just art.

TeeEye7
11-20-2008, 09:43 PM
If you get a chance, BCJ, I think a photo is in order. That's some creative mind to come up with that!

Bel-Cam Jos
11-20-2008, 10:41 PM
Here are two photos, with this very thread in the background on the screen! :D

TeeEye7
11-21-2008, 10:36 AM
Thanks for the pix! Are those foreign coins on the edges of the 105mm shell?
That's a dummy (hopefully) .50 cal. machine gun round in the center of your "sculpture", BTW.

I see a familiar avatar in the background........

Bel-Cam Jos
11-21-2008, 07:06 PM
The coins appear to be from Luxembourg [how it's spelled on it] with dates of 1929 & '30, France ('38), and Netherlands (can't read the date), plus a 2 1/2 cent from unknown country; some of the coins' glue must've worn off, as two are just inside the shell case. No idea if it's a dud, but I hope it ain't live. Lemme check and just put it in the firepl-

TeeEye7
11-21-2008, 07:43 PM
What was that noise?

Seeing that artwork reminds me of the art I see in the various correctional facilities I've either worked in or visited. It's interesting to see how people are inspired to create with whatever materials are at hand for them. I've seen some outstanding artwork by inmates using colored pencils and pillow cases or sheets as canvases.

Back to what this thread is all about: books! This has caught my eye and I think it will be put on my Christmas list now:

http://www.amazon.com/Darwins-War-Politics-Sacrifice-Sacrifices/dp/1419689053/ref=tag_tdp_sv_edpp_i

Looks like an interesting read at the very least. Since it has a connection to the 416th Bomb Group, I'll have to check it out!

Bel-Cam Jos
11-22-2008, 10:27 AM
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Yes, continue to talk about books, especially books related to WWII. I used to like reading books, when I was alive...

:rolleyes:

Slicker
11-22-2008, 12:07 PM
My grandfather had a lamp that he made from old shells. I don't remember where it is (possibly in my storage shed) but it's got a large shell in the middle with smaller rifle shells around it.

TeeEye7
11-23-2008, 06:22 PM
Here's a couple of other books I've added to my wish list:

9th Air Force
American Tactical Aviation in the ETO 1943-45
by Gregory Pons

Air Support for Patton's Third Army
by John J. Sullivan

It's going to be a tight year financially for Christmas this year but maybe Santa Trump will find his way to my house!

I'd also like to have Santa drop off The 9th Air Force in World War II by Ken Rust, but that one is really pricey!

Blue2th
11-27-2008, 12:33 AM
Found this Japanese WWII movie about the Kamakaze pilots of Japan.
Looks pretty cool. Here's a clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKLLRx7xaVI

TeeEye7
11-29-2008, 05:31 PM
They look like the guys who tried to kill my dad during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He survived a Kamakaze attack.
Yes, kiddies, I'm a LOT older than most of you here!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Leyte_Gulf

That looks like a film worth tracking down, BTW, Blue2th.

Blue2th
11-29-2008, 10:22 PM
They look like the guys who tried to kill my dad during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He survived a Kamakaze attack.
Yes, kiddies, I'm a LOT older than most of you here!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Leyte_Gulf

That looks like a film worth tracking down, BTW, Blue2th.
I did a DVD search of "For Those We Love" (which is the translated title) on ebay and bought it immediately after I saw the trailer for $16 with free shipping. The guys over at Small scale military headquarters found it.

Interesting Wiki read. I knew some of went down in the battle, but it's cool to get more details.
That battle was the big showdown with the Japanese and first time they used an organized Kamakaze attack.
What part of the battle was your dad in?

TeeEye7
11-30-2008, 02:59 PM
What part of the battle was your dad in?

For the life of me, I don't remember where he was specifically (other than the Philippines), and he's no longer here to ask. My dad didn't talk about his WWII experiences much (typical of Greatest Generationers) but he did relate his Kamakaze event.

My dad was a lieutenant jg in the Navy and skippered an LCT (Landing Craft Tank). He moved material, troops, and endured amphibious landings. On this particular occasion, he was tied up next to a cargo ship with another LCT taking on supplies when the Kamakaze came in (a group of three were attacking), probably targeting the cargo ship. His boat untied from the cargo ship and his crew engaged the fighter. The other LCT began to untie but became the unfortunate target of the Kamakaze's trajectory. The LCT was destroyed, the cargo ship slightly damaged.

The only other incident my dad ever really talked about was the time he was ferrying a bunch of drunk Marines back to their transport. Some Jarhead roused the group in an attempt to take over his ship. My dad quelled the "rebellion" by repelling the participants with fire hoses. Too funny!

Here's a little info on LCTs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_Craft_Tank

TeeEye7
12-21-2008, 09:56 AM
OK, this doesn't have to do with books per se, but it does have to do with reading:

My uncle's biographer has started a blog about the experience of writing First to Fall. Here's the address for those who may be interested:

http://cramsie.blogspot.com/2008/12/william-edward-cramsie.html

TeeEye7
04-07-2010, 03:16 AM
Perusing some internet photos on the 416th Bomb Group, I was startled to find a photo of the A20 in flight in which my uncle was shot down. Unfortunately, there is no date on this photo. If there were, I'd be able to tell who the pilot was on that day (pilots didn't always have the same plane to fly on every mission). Attached is the photo. With a little help from Photoshop, I cropped and enlarged the picture and enhanced the markings on the right side of the ship. The plane is in the center of the photo with the "5C" as part of its markings (which stood for the 671st squadron of the 416th Bomb Group). The clincher for the photo is the letter "I" towards the tail that identifies the plane as the one he was in.

This whole experience continues to be spooky......

jonthejedi
04-07-2010, 04:22 AM
My Dad was in photo recon..never saw combat. I have his dogtags to this day. I have a great photo of him with a French girl in front of a German half-track. I don't have a scanner, unfortuneately. Most of his WWII photos ended up with his brother's family. I would kill to get them back. They would fill a Time-Life book, easily. He passed away from a heart attack when I was 10. He, like many, never talked about the war much.

TeeEye7
04-10-2010, 03:19 AM
Would your uncle be agreeable to giving the photos to you? It seems to me you're the rightful heir.

This can open up a huge door. It's been a little over two years since I was introduced to by uncle via Wayne Sayles' book "First to Fall, The William Edward Cramsie Story". Not only has it introduced me to my uncle, but I've researched my dad's actions in the Navy during WWII, thanks to the internet.

Sticking my nose in your business, I'd see how amenable your uncle would be to obtaining your dad's photos.

jonthejedi
04-10-2010, 04:23 AM
There is a longer story here. My mother, who pretty much raised me alone, got done alot of dirt to her by my father's parents after my Dad passed away(he was only 49) from a heart attack. My Mom passed away in 1996. I'm not sure at this point whether the photos were sold or just given to my Dad's brother....but I don't really speak to that side of the family. They were all about $$$ & inheritances...my grandfather was a very hot-head German Patriarch type person...always had his nose in a ledger book; never played with me when I was little, nor got to know me. Like I said....a complicated family history. My mother bent over backwards for them when they got older, even when she didn't have two pennies to rub together, and they never left her a cent when the will was exposed.

TeeEye7
03-23-2011, 03:39 PM
I plan to purchase these books from Sid Phillips and RV Burgin:

http://www.marinesidphillips.com/sidney-phillips-autographed-book.htm

I received a VISA gift debit card for my birthday which, unfortunately, doesn't work for on-line purchases (:stupid:). I'd really like to get the first edition signed copies. I'll have to come up with a Plan B.

Amazing to see even the lowest-priced offering is in a hard back book! I hope this trend continues vs. paperback!

TeeEye7
02-20-2012, 11:07 AM
If you know of a World War II veteran, what better way to honor him/her than to register them with the National World War II Memorial online site?

http://www.wwiimemorial.com/default.asp?page=registry.asp&subpage=intro

Help maintain our history!! (I did!)

TeeEye7
04-10-2012, 04:06 PM
Keeping fingers crossed: the wreckage of my uncle's and his crew's A-20 Havoc may have been actually found after 67 years.

http://www.cramsie.blogspot.com/

TeeEye7
04-20-2012, 03:19 PM
Update: USAF to send a dive team to check the wreckage to try to establish nationality of the aircraft. If US, it may become a recovery effort.

OC47150
04-20-2012, 03:20 PM
Keep us posted. It's interesting news.

JimJamBonds
04-28-2012, 09:06 PM
Very cool news there TE!!!

TeeEye7
05-28-2012, 10:29 AM
Disappointing news:

The wreckage discovered was an undocumented German bomber's crash site.

http://cramsie.blogspot.com/2012/05/never-forgotten.html

OC47150
05-28-2012, 12:30 PM
Sorry to hear that. Don't give up hope.

TeeEye7
03-09-2013, 11:03 PM
Made some submissions to NavSource.org regarding my dad's WWII service. He was in the amphibious forces in New Guinea and the Philippine Islands. A photo album of his was unearthed with some photos and artifacts that need to be shared for history's sake:

http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/18/181071.htm

http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/15/150680.htm

I'm hopeful some of the small information I've shared (and plan to share more as I find it) with help others in their search to find out about their family member or WWII veterans in general.

Bel-Cam Jos
03-10-2013, 09:14 AM
How far back do these archives go in history? Just the photograph age (i.e. Civil War)? Only past WWII? Or farther?

TeeEye7
03-10-2013, 12:52 PM
How far back do these archives go in history? Just the photograph age (i.e. Civil War)? Only past WWII? Or farther?

Mom and Dad used to paint bison on the cave walls.

TeeEye7
03-10-2013, 02:06 PM
This is a very cool story!

http://vfwnc.org/department-news/tuskegee-airman-found/

TeeEye7
03-26-2014, 04:18 PM
Made some submissions to NavSource.org regarding my dad's WWII service. He was in the amphibious forces in New Guinea and the Philippine Islands. A photo album of his was unearthed with some photos and artifacts that need to be shared for history's sake:

http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/18/181071.htm

http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/15/150680.htm

I'm hopeful some of the small information I've shared (and plan to share more as I find it) with help others in their search to find out about their family member or WWII veterans in general.

And it has happened!

Two weeks ago I was contacted by the daughter of a crew mate of my dad's. I posted a photo to the site above and she was thrilled to see her dad! We are now in the process of exchanging information we have on our respective father's careers. Too cool!

JimJamBonds
03-27-2014, 09:20 PM
Very cool Tee Eye! Congrats!

TeeEye7
04-13-2014, 06:56 PM
Very cool Tee Eye! Congrats!

Thanks JJB! I'm waiting for some material being sent to me to show up in my mail box any day. I received an interesting email from the daughter mentioning other contacts she made while on Ancestry.com. Things are looking up! :pleased:

[edit] Received an email from the daughter this evening that confirmed some research I had come across as accurate as her father was an eye witness to the even. Detective work can pay off!

TeeEye7
04-15-2014, 03:03 AM
...and today the envelope arrived with the promised material: letters her dad sent home PLUS some really cool (and uncexpected) photos! Ima be like gonna be really busy for days now!

There's some great insight into this era from just my skimming of the material! Oh YEAH!

JimJamBonds
04-15-2014, 07:47 PM
I said it before and I'll say it again, very cool TeeEye7!

OC47151
04-16-2014, 02:18 PM
Very cool. The wonders of the Internet!

TeeEye7
04-17-2014, 02:32 AM
Very cool. The wonders of the Internet!

Indeed! Praise be to Al Gore!

OC47151
04-17-2014, 06:31 AM
I'm attending a conference in New Orleans next month for work. Before I accepted to go (yes, I had a choice) I asked the boss if we had some free time if we could tour the D-Day Museum. And we are! It's three miles from the hotel.

I have the best of intentions to re-read the Longest Day before going.

Really looking forward to the museum.

TeeEye7
04-18-2014, 02:38 AM
Very cool! Visiting the National World War II Museum is on my bucket list. I graduated high school from NOLA, but the WWII Museum wasn't even a glimmer on anyone's drawing board back in the day. If you get a chance, you should sneak over to Chalmette and visit the Battlefield and National Cemetery there. It's been complete re-done since I lived there in the dark ages:

http://www.nps.gov/jela/chalmette-battlefield-and-national-cemetery-visitor-center.htm

As the crow flies, I lived 4-5 south of the battlefield (this is where the Battle of New Orleans took place for those wondering...).

BTW: I received more documentation today that helped verify my research on my dad!

OC47151
04-18-2014, 06:30 AM
I will keep Chalmette in mind but other than getting to NOLA a day early, I don't think there's time for much sightseeing. You know the type of conference: starts at 9 a.m. and runs to 5 p.m., two days in a row.

TeeEye7
04-19-2014, 12:57 PM
One of the unexpected gems I received. Crew members on the LCT manning a 20mm gun.

TeeEye7
04-19-2014, 06:00 PM
...and for those wondering what an LCT (Landing Craft Tank) looks like, here ya go:
(This image was also sent to me)